I’d like to encourage you with the powerful example of a man who never gives up. Dennis Okoth is a dear friend and ministry partner. Recently Dennis has stepped in as the interim regional director at GNPI-Mbale, Uganda.
His own parents tried to poison him when he gave his life to Christ and became vocal about his faith. Dennis continues to serve the people of Uganda despite multiple home invasions and threats to his life.
“Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” — Psalm 66:20 (NIV)
Nomad Training in Inner Mongolia: A ministry partner adapted the training videos created by Mark Allen and went to Inner Mongolia to provide Nomad training in September. This ministry partner trained 15 students and made these comments: “The participants really are amazing, very hard-working. They promised to produce materials regularly.”
Sensitive Situation: Timothy P. of GNPI-SE Asia writes, “Thank you very much for your unceasing prayers. Without your prayers, our work for the Lord would be delayed. We are working very carefully under the sensitive situation in our country at this time. God bless you.”
Transformation: Nenette Pacoli of GNPI-Manila, Philippines, says, “We are releasing a new set of programs with a female speaker for our Say It Forward series. Click here to listen to the testimony of Dr. Rhoda R. Formales as she shares how she has been transformed by a love relationship with God. Praise the Lord for providing for all our needs!”
Occupied Territories: Sergei Golovin of GNPI-Eurasia writes, “A special highlight of last month was the studio production training course in the occupied territories. Our coworkers face many limitations which do not allow much Christian video shooting on the streets. Yet, the freedom of outreach through the Internet can be used for the sake of the Kingdom. We must fill the network with sound Bible based content! Please pray with us for a fruitful outcome!”
Church Partnership: Stephen Muturi of GNPI-Mbale, Uganda, writes, “Our staff is glad to partner annually with the National Churches of Christ conference to provide media to assist with their outreach efforts for the people of Uganda. This year’s theme focused on craving spiritual food.”
Our team is working on a new Bible study series in partnership with Christian Restoration Bible Seminary.
The study helps answer questions about what some view as biblical discrepancies. The study is designed to reveal how the proposed “discrepancies” of the Scriptures provide incidental proof that there was no collusion among the sacred writers. Instead the Spirit of God was inspiring and controlling their development.
Mike Boyce serves as the video teacher for this series. He shares this message about the impact of the media:
I’ve been a missionary here in Chile for several years now. In too many cases we end up doing things we’re not very good at because it needs to be done. I’m thankful for Habacuc’s help with the media needs for the new Bible Institute project for the Restoration Movement churches here. It is quite a blessing that I don’t have to do it myself and that we can have a quality of materials that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. The high quality of the media projects he has completed with us so far helps communicate the excellence we strive to achieve in ministry and allows us to stay focused on our work. The videos we’ve done so far have been a mixture of promotional videos, practical resources, and teaching. In regard to the latter, there is little high-quality media material available online from a Restoration Movement perspective in Spanish. I hope Habacuc can continue to help with this work that so we can effectively communicate an important message to our brothers and sisters throughout Chile and the Spanish-speaking world.
The Lord is using The Global Gospel (TGG) in new and tremendous ways. For those who are new to our ministry, TGG is a series of short videos which present the life and teachings of Jesus using colorful illustrations and dramatic Bible readings in the most widely spoken languages of the world.
One ministry partner has made a TGG version called Jesus Story. It is a television series for kids and is broadcasting this fall on Sat-7 in the Arabic and Farsi languages. This version includes an introduction, several of the stories, and a closing about the main point into 13 half-hour episodes. These ministry partners estimate that nearly five million youth from the ages of 6-13 will be able to view the programs in the Arabic language alone! GNPI regional centers around the world may consider using this template for their own Jesus Story productions.
Our team in Mexico is working on a sign language version of TGG. Gustavo Velázquez of GNPI-Piedras Negras, Mexico, says, “We were inspired by the commitment of our ministry partners to share the Gospel. We were also impressed to see the excitement of the deaf students who participated in this project.
In September we traveled to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, to record the last part of this project.
In January we had the opportunity to personally deliver, through a friend of GNPI, 500 thumbdrives with many GNPI materials, including The Global Gospel, to 500 Chinese house church pastors. The thumb drives were distributed secretly as the leaders strategically met in a neighboring country. GNPI recently prepared 30 more flash drives with TGG and other resources for this same ministry partner to take to a Project Nomad training in another part of Asia this fall.
Sergei Golovin of GNPI-Eurasia shares another online platform for The Global Gospel (TGG) in Russian. This team used the Everlasting Gospel translation for this TGG version, and the translation ministry is really excited. They posted it on their ownwebsite with a comment that it is the best visual presentation of the Gospel they know of so far. They provided a link to the GNPI website as well.
GNPI is adding discussion questions to each version of TGG this year. There are three questions for each story on the YouTube and Vimeo sites. Study questions are now available for English, Chinese, Thai, Swahili, and Burmese.
Our team in Damoh has completed TGG in ten languages for India. New formats also include mp3 audio files for villages in India. An Internet radio station began broadcasting The Global Gospel in the Urdu language 18 months ago.
Khuram Gill of Gospel Radio said, “I am still using The Global Gospel in Urdu. I started using this program in January 2016 and continue to broadcast it randomly. These are very blessed, short messages. I love them. Please keep it up. You are doing great job for His kingdom. May God bless all of you abundantly and use you more and more for saving souls and for His glory, in Jesus Christ’s name we ask. Amen.”
To date, more than 31,425 people have completed plans and tracks incorporating the videos from The Global Gospel on their favorite app.
Last year representatives from Free Bible images asked if they could use the TGG images on their website. They started with photos and stories about the Resurrection in the spring of 2016. Paul Thompson of Free Bible images writes,
“Our users were delighted with the quality of the artwork and as the videos follow the Bible narration, they found them to be excellent visuals for explaining the events of Easter. Each story on our web pages has a Video link to the GNPI Vimeo channel showing all 20 translations of that Bible video.”
Free Bible images then expanded to the rest of the photos and videos about TGG. Their end of the year report stated:
“In 2016 we had 48,674 sets of GNPI images downloaded in PowerPoint, PDF, or Keynote formats for teaching. Users on our site can also view any set of GNPI stories in our StoryView that runs a slideshow of the images with the Bible text from the Net Bible. We had 214,987 GNPI stories read online in StoryView in 2016, and we expect this figure to keep rising. These views and downloads took place in 160 different countries.”
With The GNPI App, tools like TGG are readily accessible for your next visit with an international student, refugee, or someone you meet on a mission trip. As more languages of TGG are added and updated, Thailand, South Korea, and Tanzania have become some of the top regions consistently viewing TGG on YouTube. Our statistics reveal that viewers are watching mainly on mobile devices. These numbers compare the first six months of this year with the first six months of last year:
The amount of time watching TGG videos is 119,336 minutes compared to 64,288 (185% increase from last year).
Total number of views of TGG videos is 103,418 compared to 46,373 (223% increase).
The number of shares of TGG videos is 1,159 compared to 431 (274% increase).
The most watched video in the first half of this year was the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Thai (#81). Last year it was The Lord’s Prayer in Hindi (#36)
As of September 2017, 28 languages are completed, and 13 are in progress or being pursued.
We praise the Lord for using TGG beyond what we asked or imagined!
I’d like to offer a special greeting to young people who are just learning about Project Nomad. Let me introduce my own daughters and tell you a little information about what it’s like to live in India.
I love my job which allows me to work with Bible college students and teach them how to make videos to tell people about Jesus. GNPI has also sent me to provide media training for people in other countries. The Bible says in Matthew 28:20 that we should go into all the world to share the Gospel. I feel like that’s exactly what I’m doing!
In dozens of places throughout Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and beyond, GNPI is reaching places and people we’ve never reached before with the hope of Jesus.
“I am against suffering; especially eternal suffering.” – John Piper
We remind ourselves of this quote often. It is so important to the work we do at GNPI, and it was the reason Jesus came to earth. He knew what people really needed, so He chose His priorities carefully and carried out His ministry with His desired end result in mind. He said in Mark 8:36, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
Peter said something similar in 1 Peter 1:9, “for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” In other words, Peter encouraged believers that no matter what they experienced this life, they had a guaranteed future for the next.
Back to Jesus. The miraculous resuscitation of Lazarus is an extreme example of meeting someone’s physical needs. We’d likely all agree that bringing someone back to life is a greater accomplishment than giving money to the poor. It’s more impressive than feeding the hungry, which Jesus did by the thousands. Yet even though this remarkable feat of raising someone from the dead is recorded for all time in Scripture, as far as we know Lazarus died again.
Even in meeting the most extreme physical needs, we have to keep as paramount the goal to understand, relate to people, and meet spiritual needs. This privilege has to be in our mind as the ultimate outcome when we minister to others.
C.S. Lewis said we are not bodies with souls, but rather souls with bodies. Bodies need to be watered, fed, loved, and cherished equally. At the end of the day, like the outer kernel of a seed that will open and die, new life follows. It is that new life Jesus died for, and it’s what will last forever.
At GNPI we strive to help our neighbors across the street and around the world. No matter their religion, status as a citizen or refugee, or color of their skin, we want to help in meeting the practical needs of those around us. What really stirs the passion of our hearts more than the water, food, clothing, or justice we can offer, is the best, lasting help mankind has ever known. It’s the truth of the Gospel in John 3:5, “No one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of the water and the Spirit.”
“You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words. I have sought your face with all my heart . . . ” — Psalm 119:57-58 (NIV)
Working Together: Sergio Alvarado of IMPACTO Latino writes, “Many things in life are better when shared with other people. Ministry is one of those things. GNPI has been a long time partner with the IMPACTO Latino team. They have supported the IMPACTO network project with multimedia equipment that is being used to develop resources for recruitment and training. Pablo Perales, who serves with GNPI from Querétaro, is assisting us in the area of multimedia and design. We are so grateful for these organizations that willingly share their resources, so that together we are able to reach more people than we could on our own.”
Why Not? Stephen Muturi of GNPI-Mbale, Uganda, writes, “We converted our short Why video to include sign language. This video has been a helpful resource in speaking to young people about God’s plan for sexual purity in their lives. Pray for us to find effective ways to reach out to the deaf community in Mbale and beyond.”
Fully Convinced: Timothy P. of GNPI-SE Asia shares this encouraging testimony. One new believer writes, “An evangelist who uses GNPI resources came to our village and met with my husband. Then my husband wanted to accept Jesus Christ and be baptized. I was so upset and angry with him. I told him that if he chose to be baptized, we must divorce. My husband ignored what I said, and he explained to me that Jesus Christ is the true and living God. His words eventually touched my heart. Later he took me to the evangelist who taught me personally with the Christian materials. I was fully convinced that Jesus Christ is the true God and Savior, and I decided to be baptized. Now I tell my friends about Jesus in the factory where I work.”
Cross-Cultural Evangelism: Sergei Golovin of GNPI-Eurasia writes, “Please continue to pray for the national Foundation of Cross-Cultural Evangelism training course and media resources we are developing. God uses our country as a hub for evangelism and Christian education in this post-communist world. More and more workers of the Lord are going on mission trips to other countries as well as to other ethnic groups within their own states. These resources will be specifically designed for the national audience to explain different issues (theological and linguistic grounding, culture conflict, culture shock, biblical strategies, and models of cross-cultural communication) within our part of the world. May the name of the Lord be praised through it!”
Hope Matters, too!Nenette Pacoli of GNPI-Manila, Philippines, says, “We have plans for a new series branching off from our devotional series Faith Matters, too! It will be called Hope Matters, too! Pastor Jebo has agreed to be the host for Hope Matters, too! He has a more vernacular or street-smart style than our Faith Matters, too! host. We’re still defining exactly what the new series will be. We expect it to be launched in early January. Pastor Jebo will write his own scripts. He already has his own radio program.”
Project Nomad teammates Caren, Rogelio, and Carlos provide an inside look at their productions and goals. One of the things that motivates them to create multimedia tools is the fact that they can reach so many people.
Carlos says, “Our goal as a Nomad team is to create materials of excellent quality to present the Gospel practically and creatively, as well as to equip those who are working on other ministries. We’ve been focusing on reaching more countries in Latin America, like Costa Rica and Colombia. Our goal is to reach every Spanish-speaking nation.”
Gayle Silkwood, Office Manager of GNPI-Chiang Mai, Thailand
The Lord is using our programs to make lasting impressions!
Local believers share about two of their favorite Thai programs, Changed and Movement Everywhere. Both programs tell real-life stories of people whose experiences with God have made an impact on their own lives and the lives of others around them. Two believers explain how God strengthened their faith and moved them to pray for others as they watched the programs.
Your giving is supplying media that allows Thai people to visualize life in Christ in their own culture.
When we are able to access information in our heart language (the one that we grew up speaking), the ideas, concepts, and principles have greater impact. Yet it’s not just language. For example, sociologists tell us there are at least 73 specific ways Americans are socially different from Africans. Humor, naming children, in-law etiquette, and more. Click on the graphic to see the full list!
When Jesus became “God with us,” God connected in the best way possible by becoming a Jewish man to walk among the Israelites. At GNPI, we believe that all people have the right to learn the Good News in a language and style they recognize as their own culture. That’s why we work side by side with local people all over the world to use their language and customs in producing media. This allows a white American speaking English or a black African speaking Swahili to discuss a biblical view on abortion or polygamy in the most effective way.
What difference does it make? The data collected from our global network last year shows:
Our centers partnered with local evangelists to start 47 churches.
Our staff and associates rejoice in more than 336 decisions for Christ in which they were directly involved.
We continued to broaden the scope of our ministry and have now accelerated global evangelism in 160 nations.